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Food & hunger

Food &amp; hunger Discussion </> Embed Share Join Now 306

Food & hunger

Moderated by I2I Admin
This is a discussion forum associated with the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge (ISCFC).

What did you learn about dietary choices from using the footprint calculator? Now imagine that you could translate what you learned into an effective societal policy on food- what would it be? And how would this policy effect the need to alleviate world hunger? 925 million people on earth do not have enough to eat according to the FAO [Food and Agricultural Organization]; that's almost 1 in 7 inhabitants of our planet!
 
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Pachenc T-US, March 1, 2014

In my carbon footprint a big part of it came from the food portion. I think that more things in grocery stores should be more organic and have less packaging. More food that we are not using that will just end up in the trash should be sent to other countries instead of throwing them away. It will not only help us but help them too. The more organic foods you eat them more likely your carbon footprint will be lower. I did not realize the impact what I ate had on my carbon footprint and I just took that for granted. Living in the US also plays a part in the food portion of my carbon footprint since there is a lot of fast food. But if they’re where more healthy choices and organic foods where cheaper I feel as though everyone’s carbon footprint would be a lot lower.

Pachenc T-US
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Lizzy H USA, Feb. 28, 2014

I eat a lot of organic foods, I pay particular attention to eating organic meats, eggs, and milk products generally because I think it is safer and healthier. The fact that these choices reduce my overall carbon footprint is a great side effect for me! However, I read an interesting article about organic animal feed (particularly soy products) having to be imported to the United States from other countries, and a large portion of these came from places as far as China or India. If you are eating organic foods for the purpose of making more environmentally friendly decisions, this is a very concerning thought. I am unsure of how to handle this problem and am open to any suggestions!

Lizzy H USA
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Shawn Anderson, Feb. 28, 2014

I didn’t realize how much higher my carbon footprint on my food choices was than that of the rest of the United States and other countries. I noticed it was most likely due to the fact that for my sports choices i have to have a great calorie intake and a high protein intake and those variables probably increase my footprint significantly. I also eat a lot of other products some that i may need and others not so much. Instead of wasting money i could donate or find a way to help someone who may not be as lucky as i am to have 3 or more meals a day. Some people don’t even have one a day and they go through the daily struggle to survive without starving so that could be something i do to help since that is a growing problem in our nation.

Shawn Anderson
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Lauren D-US, Feb. 27, 2014

When I calculated my footprint my food was higher than most. I have never thought about how much I take for granted the food that I have. I believe it has something to do with how accessible food is here. I could walk to the store right down the street and get anything I desire. But some people do not have that opportunity. I think we could do more to stop world hunger but I do not know how to go about doing that.

Lauren D-US
Comments (1)
  • Allison C-US Allison C-US Feb. 28, 2014
    There are a lot of ways to combat world hunger, but none of them are easy. The only thing I can really think of that would change a good bit is reducing your meat intake—40% of the world's grain goes to feeding livestock, which is a huge waste.

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Maddi Ownbey, Feb. 27, 2014

When I calculated my Carbon footprint mine was a good bit lower than our nations average. Living in the United States makes my footprint as a whole a lot bigger than the countries in the rest of the world. To be honest, people who live here, including myself, are so wasteful and inconsiderate. I learned that I need to carpool more for sure. There is no way possible for me to walk or even ride my bike to school. I just live too far away. It’s about a 20 minute drive to school, church, the grocery store, I would be walking or riding my bike literally all day. My diet is actually a lot lower than the average just because I only eat 1 or 2 meals a day. I snack some but not too much. My family recycles and burns as much trash as we can, though we still use about 3 or 4 bags of trash a week. But there is also four people that live in my house. Is there anything I can do to decrease my footprint?

Maddi Ownbey
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Caitlin Bond, Feb. 27, 2014

My name is Caitlin Bond and I live in South Carolina. After calculating my carbon footprint, I was surprised to see the difference choices in diet can affect the carbon footprint one carries. I did not know that it made any difference on your environmental mark and I was surprised to see that mine was actually pretty high, probably because of the amount of to-go orders I take with me since I don’t usually have time to sit down and have a meal. I’m looking to eat more meals at home and eat fruits and vegetables more often since they are organic in order to lower my carbon footprint.

Caitlin Bond
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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Isabelle A, Feb. 10, 2014

After calculating my carbon footprint, which was slightly below average for a Californian, I noticed that carbon emissions from my food was a minuscule portion of my total emissions. I do make an effort to be as environmentally friendly in my daily life, but had never thought about the carbon I put into the atmosphere by nourishing myself. The reason that my total emissions were so low is that I don’t actually like eating meat very much, I value organic and local food, and eat a healthy amount of calories.
But even though the carbon emissions generated by my dietary habits is low, that doesn’t mean that I have model eating habits for one of 7 billion people. There is not enough space on earth for everyone to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed everyone - these foods are not very nutrient-dense and take a lot of space to grow. Furthermore, not everyone is lucky enough to live in such an agriculturally productive place as California, where fresh fruits and vegetables can be grown locally throughout the year. But, if I were to eat foods that take up less space and fewer resources per calorie, I wouldn’t be able to get all of the nutrition I need. The distribution of food around the world is an enormous problem that we need to work on solving.

Isabelle A
Comments (1)
  • Katja M-Slovenia Katja M-Slovenia Feb. 14, 2014
    Hello. My results were very similar to yours especially in the food section as I, too, don't really like meat that much and that reduced my carbon footprint a lot. I agree with you about the food distribution problem around the world that needs to be solved. This isn't going to be easy because it affects pretty much everyone, but if everyone would just try their best I believe we could succeed. It's becoming a bigger problem every day.

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Julia W-USA, Oct. 17, 2013

My name is Julia and I live in California. According to my newfound research, my home energy is also a major contributor to the total amount of CO2 released. 3263 kg of light energy leads to increase my carbon footprint, so a good 142 hours of light are being used on an average daily basis. All this CO2 is being released from a single house. So in this entire world, think about how many houses and apartments there are. Millions. Every single amount of light emitted contributes to a increasingly high carbon footprint.
We could definitely reduce the carbon footprint regarding light energy by simply turning off the lights more frequently. It’s not as if there are people present in every single room where the lights are needed. Lights are unnecessary when unused, which they often are as they’re forgotten to be turned off. When you’re looking for lightbulbs, people may not realize the great effect a different light bulb may make. Fluorescent bulbs are the most prevalent energy efficient bulb that are available today. They consume an average of 75% less electricity than incandescent lights. Switching to energy efficient lighting represents a great opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and help save money for you electricity bill. From now on, I will try to remember to turn off the lights after I leave a room. That way I won’t let the light sit there for hours wasting up the energy and giving off carbon. I will also try to buy more fluorescent bulbs, when we need to replace old ones. Those bulbs are able to save more energy and consume less electricity. Next time, I decide to test and see how much my carbon footprint really is, I know that I’ll see a difference in the home energy section.

Julia W-USA
Comments (3)
  • Olivia N Olivia N Oct. 18, 2013
    I have this same problem! Leaving lights on is a bad habit of mine and I have been more careful about turning them off when I'm not in the room or if they are no use to me. My parents already noticed a difference in the past couple of weeks and went out to get the fluorescent light bulbs so if they do get left on they still are better for the earth.
  • charlotte holbrook charlotte holbrook Oct. 24, 2013
    Hi Julia, i also have these bad habits of leaving the lights on and i agree that it is a easy and simple way of reducing the amount of CO2 released. Another bad habit i have is turning on the lights when it is still light out side and that adds to the reason why my light energy use had such a big impact on my carbon foot print. After reading your post i came to the realization of that most of the light bulbs in my house are not fluorescent and that is an easy thing i can change in my household to save more and consume less energy!
  • arni gudmundsson arni gudmundsson Feb. 14, 2014
    i have a bad habbit, that is i often forgett to turn off the TVi agree that it is a easy and simple way of reducing the amount of CO2 released. Another bad habit i have is turning on the lights when it is still light out side and that adds to the reason why my light energy use had such a big impact on my carbon foot print. After reading your post i came to the realization of that most of the light bulbs in my house are not fluorescent and that is an easy thing i can change in my household to save more and consume less energy!

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Beatrice L-USA, Oct. 15, 2013

My name is Beatrice and I live in California. I was pleased to discover that my carbon footprint was lower than the average Americans but it was still much higher than the average world wide. There is a lot I can do to decrease my footprint but I am not willing to change everything. For insistence, I live too far from school to walk but I could start a carpool system in my neighborhood. And while I enjoy long showers too much to shorten them, I will definitely switch out all my incandescent light bulbs for florescent. At the moment I have only incandescent in my house which made the biggest impact on my footprint.
I have also been seriously considering becoming a vegetarian. It seems to only have positive outcomes. I will be lowering the amount of carbon I produce and I’ll be a healthier person. While this seems ideal, I am still very much attached to eating hamburgers and bacon so this change would be difficult.

Beatrice L-USA
Comments (1)
  • Elizabeth H-America Elizabeth H-America Oct. 17, 2013
    Beatrice I was also pleased my carbon footprint wasn't too high and I defiantly don't want to shorten my showers. I think carpooling is a good idea and I already do with one person but there are many more people in my neighborhood I could ask to carpool with us.
    I have also been thinking about becoming vegetarian, I like some meats so it might be difficult but I feel like I will be a much healthier person if I become vegetarian. It will also help reduce my carbon footprint!

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Discussions Discussion Food & hunger
Karina L-USA, Oct. 11, 2013

After calculating my personal carbon footprint, I found that my dietary choices was one of the top contributors to my above average carbon footprint. I learned that meat and dairy products are a central part of my meals; about half of my meals included meat and dairy. Also, as an athlete, I learned that I eat quite a lot in general. Specifically I eat about 3,000 calories a day, a higher average than people in the rest of the world, especially developing countries. People in developed countries, such as America, should cut down on serving sizes and only buy the food that they will definitely use. Personally, I think it is ridiculous that obesity is such a pandemic in America and then world hunger is a significant problem for much of the rest of the world. If individuals reduce serving sizes and reduce waste, more food could be distributed to countries with less access to food. Further, manufacturers should donate food that is unsellable but edible to people in need. This would alleviate world hunger and obesity because there would be more food equality throughout the world. I read a very interesting article (link below) ranking different ideas about ending world hunger. One idea, that I was surprised to see, was targeting infant nutrition. According to the article, providing nutrients at an infant stage would decrease malnutrition later on in life.
Attached also is a series of photographs of the diets of various families throughout the world for one week. The variation of the amount and quality of food is astonishing.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jun/08/eight-ways-solve-world-hunger
Karina L-USA
Comments (3)
  • Angelina A-US Angelina A-US Oct. 11, 2013
    I completely agree with your argument. Why do Americans take excess food for granted while children in Africa would love to be served a small meal that our children might cry about? People in the USA throw away such large amounts of food without questioning it. If companies decided to make smaller packages of food, they would have more available and people wouldn't throw away so much. This idea is definitely something to think about.
  • Nadine Snyder Nadine Snyder Oct. 18, 2013
    I agree with you as Americans do eat way too much protein and dairy. Isn't a stereotypical American meal a hamburger and a milkshake? Anyway this diet is defiantly not helpful for the planet as in order to create beef tons of carbon dioxide is admitted. First all of the grain the cow eats must be transported from the farm to the pasture for the cow to eat it. Next the cow must be transported to the slaughter house where it is killed. Finally the beef is transported to a packaging plant and then your local supermarket. In this process tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere.
    Cows also eat a lot of food, which could be fed to the hungry. Many people go vegetarian to protest the fact that American cows eat more than African children. If Americans ate less beef than more of this grain could be donated to countries that are going through famines, or wars. This could help no child be hungry.

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